Digital age healthcare dangers homework help

 

Digital health is the use of information and communication technology in medicine and other health professions to manage health risks, illnesses and health risks to promote wellness. Digital health helps to provide health interventions in disease prevention hence improving the quality of life.

Digital age healthcare dangers homework help

Digital age healthcare dangers homework help

Digital health continues to evolve amidst global concerns related to aging, mortality, child illness, pandemics, high costs of healthcare and the effects of poverty, racial discrimination on access to healthcare etc.

Digital age- digital age can in other words can be called the information age. It is also defined as the time period starting in the 1970s which started with the introduction of personal computers. The subsequent technology provided the ability to share and transfer information freely and quickly. Since then, technology has been evolving over time and is now being used in healthcare as a cost-effective way of receiving healthcare. Patients do not have to necessarily appear physically in hospitals as they can have online appointments with their healthcare providers through video calls.

Examples of digital healthcare technologies

 

There are a variety of digital technologies which include:

  • Electronic physician’s orders and E-prescribing- this entails the use of computer support to enter physician’s orders including medication orders by use of a computer platform. Computerized physician orders entry systems were initially developed to improve the safety of medication orders but the modern ones allow electronic ordering of tests. Procedures and consultations. They are usually integrated with a clinical decision support system which act as an error prevention tool through guiding the prescriber on the preferred drug doses, route and frequency of administration. Some new versions of this device have the feature of prompting the prescriber to any drug-to-drug interactions, patient allergies, etc.
  • Clinical decision support- it provides the healthcare professional with information and patient-specific information. This kind of information is intended to enhance the decision of the decision of the healthcare provider which is the n filtered and presented to the healthcare professional at the appropriate time. This device includes a range of tools that help to enhance decision-making and the clinical work flow. Some of these tools include alerts, notifications and reminders to care providers and patients, condition-specific order sets etc.
  • Electronic sign-out and hand off tools- sign out or hand over communication is the process of passing patient-specific information from one caregiver to another, from caregivers to the patients, from one team of care givers to the next, from patient to family members for the purpose of ensuring the continuity of the patient’s care and safety. Breakdown in hand over of patient information is the leading cause of sentinel events. Electronic sign out application tools are integrated with the electronic medical record to ensure a structured transfer of patient information during health care provider hand offs.
  • Bar code medication administration- are electronic systems that integrate electronic medication administration records with bar code technology. These systems are aimed at preventing medication error by ensuring that patients receive the right medication at the right time. There are varying levels of sophistication among the barcode systems. For example, some software barcodes produce alerts when sound-like or look alike medications are about to be issued to the patient.
  • Smart pumps- they are intravenous infusion pumps that are equipped medication error-prevention software which alert the operator when the infusion setting is set outside of pre-configured safety limits.
  • Automated medication dispensing technology- it consists of electronic drug cabinets that stroke medication at the point of care with controlled dispensing and tracking of medication distribution. Automated dispensing cabinets have evolved over time to include more sophisticated software and digital interfaces that help to synthesize high risk steps in the medication distribution. These cabinets have been used successfully as a medication inventory management tool that helps in automating medication dispensing process. They achieve this by minimizing the workload on the central pharmacy and keeping better track of medication dispensing process and patient billing.
  • Retained surgical items prevention technology-it is used to enhance the prevention of retained surgical items which include barcoding and radiofrequency tagging of surgical items. Use of such technologies is supplementary to manual counts due to many reasons which include cost, confusion with older no-tagged devices and wand technique.
  • Patient electronic portals- it is a secure online application that provides patients access to their personal health information. It also provides them with a 2-way electronic communication with their care providers using a mobile phone or computer. Patient portals improve outcomes of preventive care, disease awareness and self-management.
  • Telemedicine- it is the use of telecommunication technologies to facilitate provider to patient and provider to provider communication. Communication may be synchronous with real-time two-way video communication or asynchronous transmission of patient clinical information.
  • Remote patient monitoring- this technology improves patient outcomes for certain chronic conditions like heart failure, stroke, asthma and hypertension. Patient data management systems automatically retrieve data from bedside medical equipment like a ventilator, patient monitor, intravenous pump and so forth. The data is then summarized and restructured to help healthcare providers in interpreting the data.

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Impact of technology on healthcare

 

The following are some of the areas digital technology has made an enormous impact in healthcare:

  • Big data- technology allows clinicians to gather big data in minimal time. Digital technology also allows instant data collection from a much more diverse and larger population for those conducting research, clinical trials and epidemiology studies. This allows for meta-analysis and permits medical professionals to stay on top of cutting-edge techniques and trends.
  • Improved access to medical information and data- digital revolution has led to a high ability to store and access data. This also allows healthcare workers to access patient data from anywhere. The internet also allows healthcare workers to share medical information more rapidly.
  • There are improved lines of communication- digital technology has made communication between healthcare workers easier. Medical workers can also make their own webinars, videos and other use of online platforms to communicate with their colleagues.
  • Provision of electronic health records- this has been a relief when it comes to retrieving patients records compared to old days when patients files were being moved from department to department.
  • Telemedicine /telehealth- telehealth is not only cost-effective but it can also help determine who needs emergency assistance. Psychiatrists are able to deliver counselling through telehealth for patients who are not able to physically come to their clinics.
  • Facilitation of online education- technology has made it easier for healthcare career learners to learn virtually with some of them completing their degree courses online.
  • Use of health apps- using health apps patients are able to monitor their health and disease providing them with medical information hence allowing them to access test results and prompt them when they need check-up.
  • Data safety- digital data is vulnerable to harmful attacks while physical files are not. However, medical reports can be lost completely during unexpected events like landslides. earthquakes or due to incompetence. A digital storage system therefore can solve all these problems. Authorized staff can access these records from wherever they are whenever need arises.
  • Access to medical opinions 24/7- digital healthcare provides patients with 24 hours access to medical opinions. It also helps patients to know if their case requires emergency treatment or not which can help in saving life.
  • There is doctor-patient collaboration- digital technology helps patients keep track of their records without having to keep a physical file during every visit. Digitization keeps clinicians informed about the patient’s medical history making it easier to serve them.

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Dangers of digital age

 

The dangers of digital age include the following-:

  • Regulating adaptive A.I algorithms- such algorithms rely on existing medical data which is fraught with inherent biases. By evolving such data, adaptive algorithm will reinforce those harmful biases. To mitigate such risks, regulatory authorities need to adopt new regulatory approaches to ensure that equitable adaptive algorithms are employed in healthcare facilities.
  • Medical devices can be hacked remotely- new medical devices and implants are increasingly getting wireless connections which means the can also be prone to hacking which could prove fatal to patients. Therefore, patients should ask for safer options while companies developing such technologies should make sure they are safe.
  • Privacy breaches by and on direct-to-consumer services and devices- there is a delicate relationship between digital health adoption and privacy which means there is no digital health without compromising a bit of our privacy. In order to provide individual and personalized results, tools like A.I and health sensors need to access our personal data. The companies behind these tools can also access the same data which meaning there is no privacy.
  • Ransomware attacks on hospitals- it is a common type of cyberthreats in healthcare. It involves hackers who infect technological systems with malware to encrypt crucial files which then paralysis the whole system making information inaccessible until a ransom is paid through cryptocurrency.
  • Some technologies supporting self-diagnosis- there is a danger when patients google their symptoms and treatments as they might wrongfully associate the information with more serious conditions than what their doctors would have diagnosed. This can therefore pave way for even more serious cases of misinterpretation or self-medication.
  • Bioterrorism which happens through digital health technologies- as healthcare technology advances, bioterrorism also propels to a higher level. With such advancing technologies, we should be equipped to prevent bioterrorists from hacking the systems and getting control over our health.
  • Electronic medical records are not able to accommodate patient health data- with the increasing demand for fitness wearables and direct to consumer genetic tests getting affordable, patients will increasingly employ such solutions and gather personalized data about themselves. Patients may therefore not be able to include such information in electronic medical records as they were not designed to accommodate them.
  • Use of face recognition cameras in hospital- it’s a method that combines image analysis and deep neural networks to interpret patterns from a facial characteristic and can reveal a wide range of medical conditions. Employing the technology from a company with dubious intentions poses new privacy risks. The images are then shared with law enforcement officials for surveillance.
  • Big brother/ health insurance- with the adoption of fitness trackers and direct to consumer genetic teats and health sensors, health insurance institutions are able to monitor and assess applicants for insurance coverage based on their needs. Insurance companies also demand access to a person’s wearables data in order to offer insurance, charge higher premiums and discriminate against applicants based on their genetic risks.

Ways to improve patient safety outcomes in digital era

 

Such patient safety outcomes include-

  • Governance of health information- organizations need to establish health information oversight mechanism that relevant stakeholders and leadership. Organizations also need to ensure that their health information plan is coordinated with the safety of patient’s safety and risk management plan.
  • Identification of safety risks- there is a need for organizations to identify areas that health information technology might help in improving the safety of the patients namely guideline adherence, medication safety etc.
  • Involvement of stakeholders- it is important to involve stakeholders in all phases of health information projects from planning and implementation to continuous improvement. The most important stakeholders are the system end user and the process owner.
  • Making informed decisions- there is need for organizations to to review the cost effectiveness of technologies including conducting an evidence-based decision. They also need to consider evaluation of the current information technology infrastructure including software and hardware.
  • Provision of sufficient training- all relevant line staff need to receive sufficient training on the use of the proposed health technology.
  • Gradual implementation- technology needs to be rolled out gradually to avoid disruption of current processes and systems.
  • Engaging in continuous evaluation and monitoring of patient safety outcomes- organizations have to measure patient safety outcomes on a continuous basis especially during the initial This helps to ensure that the new technology achieves its intended outcome.
  • Optimization of technology- organizations can modify and finetune the implemented technology based on user feed backs and patient safety outcomes.
  • Engaging in regular technology updates- organizations need to ensure that health technologies are continuously updated so as to comply with recent best clinical practices, technical stability and regulatory standards.

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Benefits of digital healthcare

 

Digital healthcare encompasses the new technological innovations designed to improve healthcare. They include wearables, telemedicine, online portals etc. digital healthcare is ever evolving ensuring that healthcare continues to improve. The benefits of digital healthcare include:

  • Patient portals- such portals allow patients to easily access personal health information allowing them to become more active in their care and have better conversations with their healthcare providers.
  • Telemedicine- it allows patients to remotely communicate with clinicians reducing the need for emergency room visits and hospitalization.
  • Electronic health records- they save time, reduce the chance for duplicate tests and improve patient care decisions. They also help clinicians to better manage chronic diseases hence improving office productivity.
  • Automating admin tasks- it helps to reduce the time doctors spend entering patient data hence adding on the time the doctor spends with the patients.
  • Access to medical opinions 24/7- digital healthcare provides patients with 24 hours access to medical opinions. It also helps patients to know if their case requires emergency treatment or not which can help in saving life.
  • Telehealth- telehealth provides high-quality care. Enables patients to make a personal care plan and keep track of it, renewals of prescriptions can be requested and patients can use `their health education library to learn more. It also helps patients to feel more in charge of their health and have a better grasp of it. It also refers to providing patients with medical facilities through the digital means which include remote appointments where healthcare providers can advise patients through video calls and guide them to recovery.
  • Easy sharing patient information across multiple platforms- digital healthcare is very important in sharing of information other platforms or with doctors. This can be an important revolution in future as sometimes critical cases can come and it becomes difficult for one expert to handle.  Where there is a need for more than one expert to handle, digital platform helps them to share information hence coming up with a more concrete solution. It also facilitates quick sharing of patient files as actual files would not be needed.

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, digital information technology improves patient safety as a result of a reduction in errors by helping in reduction of adverse drug reactions. Digital healthcare also helps in improving compliance to practice guidelines. Therefore, there should be no doubt that health information technology is important tool for improving healthcare quality and safety, although healthcare organizations need to be selective in which type of technology to invest in. this is because literature shows that some technologies have limited evidence in improving patient safety outcomes.

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